NBA picks: Celtics vs. Nuggets betting predictions, plays against the spread

NBA picks: Celtics vs. Nuggets betting predictions, plays against the spread

Who wants to ride the wave?

We somehow managed to sweep our predictions Wednesday night, correctly picking the moneyline, point spread and point total results for the Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers thriller while hitting our two NBA locks against the spread.

Friday night presents a challenge, though, as the Celtics finish off their West Coast road trip against another Western Conference power in the Denver Nuggets.

Can the C's pull off a road victory against a legitimate title contender, or will Denver send Boston back to The Hub with its first losing streak of the season?

We've got you "covered" with betting predictions for Celtics-Nuggets, as well as two locks against the spread.

(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook)

Boston Celtics at Denver Nuggets, 9 p.m. ET

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Clippers, which tips off Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.

Moneyline: There's no rest for the weary Celtics, whose final leg of a five-game West Coast trip is a matchup with the 10-3 Nuggets. The C's haven't scored more than 105 points in a game during their road trip and face the third-best defense in the NBA in Denver. The Nuggets (-190) hand Boston back-to-back losses for the first time this season.

Point Spread: As our own Chris Forsberg wrote Wednesday, these Celtics can compete with anyone. Their last two losses have been by a combined four points, so even if Daniel Theis struggles to neutralize Nikola Jokic in the paint, Boston's well-balanced offense should do enough to help the Celtics (+4.5) cover again.

Point Total: The 206 point total is temptingly low, but I'm sticking with my guns. These are two of the best defensive teams in the NBA, which should result in a drag-out, low-scoring affair. Take the UNDER, which has hit in four of Boston's last five games.

Darren's record picking the Celtics' moneyline, point spread and point total: 21-11-1

NBA Locks of the Night

Atlanta Hawks (+7) at Detroit PistonsThe Hawks just got through a schedule gauntlet (at Nuggets, at Suns, at Clippers, at Lakers, vs. Bucks) and should be very relieved to face an underwhelming Pistons team. Even if Detroit wins, Trae Young and Co. should keep it close.

San Antonio Spurs at Philadelphia 76ers (-7.5): The Sixers have some flaws, but winning at home isn't one of them. Philly is 5-0 at Wells Fargo Center this season and should cruise against a Spurs team that's lost seven straight.

Darren's record picking NBA locks against the spread: 12-9-1

Keeping up with the ex-Celtics: How former players are faring on new teams

Keeping up with the ex-Celtics: How former players are faring on new teams

Want a sense of how much talent was on the Boston Celtics' 2018-19 roster?

The Celtics lost five significant contributors from that squad this offseason, all of whom are averaging 14 points per game or more for their new squads.

The guys still left in Boston? They're off to a casual 15-5 start, tied for second in the Eastern Conference as of Thursday.

But what about those guys who skipped town?

At the unofficial quarter mark of the 2019-20 season, we decided now is a good time to check in on the five major contributors from last season's Celtics who left in the offseason -- Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris and Aron Baynes -- to see how they're adapting to their new homes.

As you'll find, the marks for some players are more complete than others.

Kyrie Irving, Guard, Brooklyn Nets

2019-20 stats (11 games played)
33.8 minutes, 28.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game; 44.4 field goal percentage, 34.1 3-point percentage

Grade: Incomplete
Irving dazzled offensively out of the gate, dropping 50 points in his Nets debut and averaging 28.5 points through his first 11 games. He's missed Brooklyn's last 10 games with a shoulder injury, though, and watched the Nets go 7-3 in that span without him clogging up the offense. Sound familiar?

Do the Celtics miss him?
The short answer: No. The long answer: Hell no.


Al Horford, Forward, Philadelphia 76ers

2019-20 stats (19 games played)
31.4 minutes, 14.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.1 steals per game; 48.3 field goal percentage, 37.3 3-point percentage

Grade: B
Horford's stats won't blow you away, and there have been growing pains with him and Joel Embiid sharing a frontcourt. But just like he did in Boston, the 33-year-old is giving Philly solid production across the board and is big reason why the Sixers are 15-6.

Do the Celtics miss him?
You bet. Boston's biggest weakness is its frontcourt defense, an area Horford excelled in last season. Among this group of ex-Celtics, Horford is the guy who Brad Stevens and Co. miss the most.


Terry Rozier, Guard, Charlotte Hornets

2019-20 stats (23 games played)
32.5 minutes, 17.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game; 43.5 field goal percentage, 40.3 3-point percentage

Grade: B+
Rozier got the keys to the car he wanted, and he's driving it well so far: He's scoring six more points per game than his previous career high and while shooting at a career-high rate. The Hornets aren't going anywhere, but it's good to see Rozier getting buckets -- and getting paid.

Do the Celtics miss him?
Kinda. Brad Wanamaker and Carsen Edwards are downgrades from Rozier as backup point guards, but "Scary Terry" wasn't going to stay in Boston to play behind Kemba Walker anyway. Barring a Walker injury, the C's will be fine here.


Marcus Morris, Forward, New York Knicks

2019-20 stats (19 games played)
33.1 minutes, 18.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.6 steals per game; 42.4 field goal percentage, 52.4 3-point percentage

Grade: B+
See Rozier, Terry. Morris is scoring at a career-best rate thanks to a ridiculous 52.4 3-point percentage. He's also not doing much else for a team jockeying for a lottery position in the Eastern Conference.

Do the Celtics miss him?
Nope. Morris hit a lot of clutch shots for Boston last season, but he also took a lot of shots, and his absence has allowed Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to flourish with more offensive opportunities.

Aron Baynes, Forward, Phoenix Suns

2019-20 stats (13 games played)
24.0 minutes, 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 0.7 blocks per game; 56.3 field goal percentage, 43.9 3-point percentage

Grade: Incomplete
Baynes might be flirting with B+/A- minus territory had he not suffered a calf injury that sidelined him in seven of Phoenix's last eight games. "All of Australia" had taken his 3-point shooting to another level in the first month of the season to help fuel the Suns' strong start.

Do the Celtics miss him?
Yup. Enes Kanter has been serviceable offensively, but the C's likely will be shopping for big men of Baynes' mold around the NBA trade deadline as they look to bolster their frontcourt.


Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Nuggets, which tips off Friday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Tommy & Mike have the call at 8 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Boston Celtics vs. Denver Nuggets live stream: Watch NBA game online

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Boston Celtics vs. Denver Nuggets live stream: Watch NBA game online

The Boston Celtics came up just short the last time they faced the Denver Nuggets. They'll get a shot at revenge Friday night at TD Garden.

During the C's West-Coast road trip in November, Boston fell to Denver 96-92. More notable than the game itself was Kemba Walker going down with a scary neck injury and being taken off the court on a stretcher. Fortunately, Walker turned out OK and will look to lead the Celtics to a W in front of the home crowd.

Boston is coming off a 112-93 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night in which Jaylen Brown dropped 31 points and Walker added 28.

Be sure to tune into NBC Sports Boston for Celtics Pregame Live at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the game at 8 p.m. ET or stream it via the MyTeams app. 


Listen and subscribe to our Celtics Talk Podcast>>>


BEFORE THE GAME: At 7 p.m., Celtics Pregame Live presented by TD Bank gets you ready for the game with reports from Kyle Draper, Chris MannixMike Gorman, Brian Scalabrine, A. Sherrod Blakely, Chris Forsberg, and Abby Chin. Watch on NBC Sports Boston or click here for the live stream.

AT HALFTIME: Tune in to watch a breakdown of the first two quarters on Halftime Live presented by Ace Ticket. Watch on NBC Sports Boston or click here for the live stream.

AFTER THE GAME: As soon as the game ends, tune to Celtics Postgame Live presented by New England Ford for analysis, commentary and player reaction. Watch on NBC Sports Boston or click here for the live stream

Questions on our livestream? Get all your questions answered here on our Streaming FAQ.



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